Helping You With Info On The Diagnosis And
Treatment Of Causes Of Abdominal Pain & Related Medical Problems

"I have been having really bad pain in my abdominal area just below my sternum.

Abdominal pain in a woman seeing a doctor

The pain has spread to my right lower abdomen and back.

I have been to four doctors and have had two CT scans one with barium and the other one without and one abdominal ultrasound as well. I have also had blood work done.

All tests came back normal. I have been in pain for a month now and no doctor can figure out the cause", reports a patient. Does that sound like your experience too?

Stomach ache, belly pain, tummy ache or tummy pain are different names used to describe pain in the abdomen. It is as common "as the common cold", accounting for one in every twenty visits to doctors  and it could be a real pain, often difficult to diagnose. "There it was, glowing on the computer screen next to each patient's name, and repeated again, up on the emergency-department tracking board: "Abd Pn," the abbreviation for abdominal pain. It appeared again and again , 12 times", reports the TIME magazine of February 2nd 2011, in the article, "Why Belly Pain Is Such a Headache for ED Doctors" (italics ours).

No. Not to Emergency Department doctors alone. Diagnosing the cause of pain in the abdomen could be a real challenge to family doctors (GPs), gynaecologists, surgeons, paediatricians, urologists, and indeed many other specialists. This is because the abdomen is a big cavity containing many different organs. Any infection or injury or abnormal growth in any one of these organs in the abdomen could cause pain.

Finding The Cause of Your Abdominal Pain

Having Abdominal Pain?

If you suffer with pain in any part of your abdomen that lasts for more than an hour and it's not getting better, it is important that you do something about it. This may include taking some simple pain killers like paracetamol or Tylenol. If it is still not going away, seek medical advice. 

Finding and pinpointing the exact cause of pain in the abdomen could be like finding the proverbial "needle in a hay sac" as explained above. 

But this is certainly possible with the use of "magnets" in the form of obtaining a very focused history and description of the pain from the sufferer combined with an examination of the abdomen and well chosen physical tests or investigations.

The following are the common causes of abdominal pain in women, men and children.

We would also be taking a look at potentially dangerous causes of acute pain in the abdomen like acute appendicitis, pancreatitis, biliary colic, cholecystitis, gastroenteritis, ectopic pregnancy, abdominal aortic aneurysm, bowel obstruction, kidney stones, cystitis, henoch-schonlein purpura, twisted ovarian cyst, cancer and the non acute causes like constipation, trapped wind, pelvic infection, irritable bowel syndrome (ibs), coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease, endometriosis, sphincter of oddi dysfunction, mentrual pain, mid cycle pain and more.

Tests & Treatment Options Explained

We have also included a "no jargon" explanations of blood tests and scans that are commonly required in the diagnosis of pain in the abdomen, including urine test, and what they mean.

You would be able to understand why your doctor has requested a blood or urine test or scan and what the figures and results they get back actually mean. We have included common blood tests like FBC (CBC), Electrolyte and Urea, Liver functional test, Amylase, CRP, ESR, and many more. Are you having a laparoscopy or keyhole surgery or test?

We have also included detailed information on treatment options for each causes of tummy pain. We believe that you should be fully empowered to understand what is going on inside you and not leave it entirely to your healthcare providers.

Yes. Here at the Abdominal Pain Centre, we aim: to provide a comprehensive wealth of information free of charge on causes, recognition, investigations, current treatment options available and where appropriate, actions that can be taken to prevent abdominal pain in both men and women and from infancy to old age.

Online Doctors Help Here

Though we are unable to guarantee that we would be able to respond to all queries due to limited resources, we do provide a one-to-one answer to questions or concerns raised relating to abdominal or pelvic pain issues.

Feel free to use our free online medical consultation section to post your questions. We are in the process of developing a premium service where you would be able to get guaranteed answers to your questions. We are committed to helping you unravel the cause of your abdominal pain. That is our joy.

The content of this site is solely contributed by experienced medical doctors with international experience, and they strive to base this guide on current best evidence available in latest medical literature and from their clinical experience in their day to day medical practice.

We sincerely hope that this free online resource prove to be useful to you in understanding the causes of pain in the abdomen , their investigations and treatment options available.

It would prove to be a useful resource for the curious non-medical reader as well as medical and health trainees. We regularly update the information here; so please visit often.

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Last updated: 13th Day of September 2015

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